The City of Pinehurst has a new budget ready to go into effect, pending the approval of the new tax rate.

There are two public hearings scheduled in order to give citizens a chance to comment on the new taxes. The first hearing is scheduled for Sept.9, with the second hearing scheduled for Sept. 12. Both hearings are scheduled for 6:00 P.M. at the Pinehurst City Hall.

Council members hope to approve the budget including the new tax rate of $0.58652 per $100 of valuation at the next scheduled meeting, Sept. 23.

The city is experiencing a serious problem with false alarms from businesses. Faulty systems are causing false alarms to be turned in causing the fire department to respond needlessly.

Responding to a false alarm causes volunteer firefighters to respond around the clock. It also causes extra expense to the department from running to the alarms.

One business has had nine calls this year, including four in the last month. “The last call to this business was 3:45 A.M. this morning,” said Grady Gray, Fire Chief.

The city passed an ordinance to provide a fine of up to $200 for violations caused by faulty fire alarms. The city is also investigating the reports that the business has not evacuated its customers when a fire alarm sounds. If there is a regulation to evacuate and the business has not been evacuating its patrons there could be other fines levied for that violation as well.

Action was taken to increase the late fees for water and sewer bills from $10 to 10% for a late payment.

An amendment to the ordinance dealing with the fee schedule for permit fees, moving fees, demolition fees, pool fees, sign fees and other fees. The increase will be an across the board raise of approximately $5.

The City of Pinehurst has had a problem with the owners of dilapidated properties. Actions taken for these properties will be sending letters of intent to demolish some of the properties and discussions with the owners, where appropriate. The city has been dealing with some owners for a long period of time and they are beginning to set deadlines for owners that are not or have not been making efforts to improve their properties.

A report was given that donations from within the community has been made in a sufficient amount as to be able to produce the annual Labor Day Picnic at no cost to the city.

It has been necessary to postpone the picnic due to Hurricane Gustav. The City will provide information about the new date in the near future.